Internships are immensely beneficial for students – an opportunity to gain experience, taste-test a live work environment, meet new people, and learn new skills. In the case of Theo Dean’s internship, The Open Bench Project could say the same about her! We were very fortunate to have Theo join us shortly for a 2016 summer internship experience and we found ourselves learning and growing thanks to her passion for science, math, technology, and… crickets.

Theo is originally from Casco, Maine, but now lives in South Portland. She’s starting her senior year this fall at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science and has big hopes and dreams for the future. One, of many things, she’d like to accomplish in her lifetime is to create something of significance that can be handed down for generations to come. She gets that inspiration from no other than Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician and writer, who is regarded as the first computer programmer after she recognized the algorithm needed to successfully run a machine.

And, as if that goal wasn’t lofty enough, Theo would also like to tackle the “Pink Tax” and improve equality for women when it comes to shopping. It definitely doesn’t seem fair that women would be charged more for items of equal or lesser value. We have a feeling Theo is going to change the world!

First things first, though. Theo is currently focused on expanding the market for cricket flour. In case you haven’t heard, there is a growing interest in producing cricket flour for baking and cooking needs. Evidently, it is very high in protein, is easy to make, and leaves a tremendously smaller carbon footprint when manufacturing. Theo became fascinated with this subject after watching a video in school about frog-eating- crickets. She began to research and found that crickets are indeed edible despite the stigmatization in our culture of eating insects. After more research and even testing a few batches of cookies with cricket flour, Theo has come to the realization that this could be a successful direction to pursue for a number of obvious reasons. Awesome! Try some for yourself.


While Theo originally came to the OBP to be surrounded by like-minded people and learn more about 3D printing, she says that one of the best lessons she learned this summer was to “just ask.” She explained that she was amazed at how much someone can teach you if you just ask. It’s a lesson that will always stick with her and that she can apply to her life goals. We sure do love our OBP community for that reason – it’s all about sharing and learning and helping each other and making a difference.

Thanks for joining us this summer, Theo!

And then some,

Your friends @ OBP